Dear Nobles and Ladies.
I hope this letter finds you well. The past six months have been exceedingly difficult for all of us. For those still working, the economy has been slow. We have been isolated from many of our friends and colleagues. We have not been able to participate in many of our usual activities. Summer has flown by without our usual parades, events, and parties. I have heard from some members who have had a family member or friend become ill with COVID-19, but fortunately, we are unaware of any deaths caused by it,
Elf Khurafeh Shrine has survived through this most unusual summer, but we are in an extremely difficult financial situation. Just as our clubs and units have been unable to participate in their usual fundraising activities, neither has the Temple. The Sportsman's Raffle has been postponed until November 21st, but it will be a virtual drawing with none of the usual extra money-making activities, and ticket sales are down so we hope to break even on this. The Onion Sale had to be cancelled due to State restrictions and concern for our member's well-being. Almost all hall rentals were cancelled or postponed till next year. In Saginaw, Bingo has been cancelled. The Pulaski Club has not been able to operate normal hours and are several thousands of dollars in arrears of their rent. In addition to this we have several Nobles who have not paid their 2020 dues as of this time.
The Divan, Finance Committee, Past Potentates, and our Financial Advisor have all worked hard to minimize expenditures as much as possible. But necessary bills continue to come and must be paid. Fundraising activities will not take place until Spring of 2021, or later.
I am asking each of you to help ensure Elf Khurafeh Shrine continues for years to come. Please search your hearts and remember why you became a Shriner - to help children with debilitating medical conditions. To continue this mission, we need your financial help now!
Thank you for your urgent help. May God bless each of you and keep you safe.
John E. Arnould
I've been asked to share a brief email discussion regarding the current and future status of transporting children to our hospitals.
I'm sure you've heard that we have been unable to transport children to our Chicago and Cincinnati hospitals due to Covid-19. For the safety of our hospitals, drivers, and especially kids, Shriners International along with the Board of Directors and Board of Trustees of Shriners Hospitals for Children closed transportation early in the spring. Any child needing a check-up or follow-up appointment has been able to do so using a system called Fast Track. Fast Track is similar to Zoom or Go To Meeting - it is a way for people to meet over the internet where they can talk to and see each other. This has been very beneficial in that our kids can still see their doctors, and the doctors can note the progress being made by each patient without the risk of potentially infecting each other.
But now, as the world is slowly opening up from it's Covid-19 forced slumber, there are questions about transportation. Illustrious Sir Ron Stanley, the Elf Khurafeh Board of Governors representative to the Chicago Hospital had a brief discussion with Mark Niederpruem, FACHE who is the Administratos of the Chicago Hospital. Here are the highlights of their conversation:
Illustrious Sir Ron: Mark, when do you think transportation will start up again?
Mark: Some Shrine Centers are currently transporting kids so it is up to the Shrine Centers and the individual drivers if they are comfortable transporting at this time.
I. S. Ron: Telehealth in Saginaw - is it going to stay active?
Mark: I do not know the long term answer to this question. However, at this time it will remain active. Since March when Covid hit, Shriners Hospital for Children - Chicago has significantly increased telehealth, but using personal devices in patient homes. I suspect this will continue and eventually the Saginaw site will then be reevaluated to see if [it] is used enough to keep it going.
I.S. Ron: Will we need all the vans in the future?
Mark: If telehealth ramps up in the coming year like it has recently, I project the number of trips need[ed] will decrease. What I don't know is by how much. Sorry I can't be more precise at this time
If you have any questions regarding the current situation for transportation or what lies ahead, feel free to contact Illustrious Sir Ron Stanley. He will try to answer all of your questions.
So much has changed since I first wrote an article for this issue of the Arabian Knights. We have gone from two very busy months to everything is cancelled or postponed. All of April’s Shrine events are cancelled. Both Circus Park and Saginaw Shriners Hall are closed.
May’s Shrine events are cancelled or postponed. We will have digital business meetings in April and May. As government restrictions are lifted, and safety concerns lessen, we will reevaluate resuming meetings.
The Sportsman’s Raffle has been rescheduled for June 21. This is not an ideal day (Sunday), but Circus Park is rented every Saturday through mid-October, so our options are limited. We will not cancel a rental for a Shrine event as the income is even more needed than normal at this time. New tickets have been printed and are available from Phil Brack. Please get out and really push these tickets. We need this to be a major event for the Temple.
The Easter Party, Oasis Craft Show, and property cleanup are cancelled. The Arab Patrol Raffle Party is postponed to later date to be determined.
May’s Spring Ceremonial and the Scottish Rite Reunion have been cancelled. The Ladies Luncheon has been postponed and will be rescheduled when possible.
June events are still on for now. The Shriner’s Run is moving fast! Arab Patrol’s Steak Fry is cooking. The Car Show on June 21st is canceled but is being replaced with the Sportsman’s Raffle. We are waiting on updates from the Chicago Hospital, but it appears they will be cancelling the June 7 Hospital Day. We will keep you updated on this.
The Divan and Finance Committee are working diligently to establish policies and procedures for the handling of Temple funds. By the time you read this many of these policies will be in place. Our goal is to be able to generate realistic budgets that are attainable and manage funds to meet our obligations on timely schedules. Once we get the Temple policies in place, we will be working on the Association budget.
The 2020 Shrine Dues are past due. We still have several Nobles that have not paid their dues. Please get this into the office as soon as you can. You can pay online at www.ekshrine.com or by USPS mail. If you, or a Noble you know, are having financial burdens that make paying the dues difficult, please contact the Recorder or me. We can help you through this and maintain your Shrine privileges.
These times are trying. Please take care of yourselves and family. Your health and well being is of utmost importance. If you are healthy, strong, and able, please remember the many less fortunate in our communities. If you are able to volunteer in any way, please do. There are so many things that need to be done. You can assist at local foodbanks, deliver meals or groceries, sew masks for first responders, call shut ins. Remember the three principal rungs of Jacob’s Ladder – Faith, Hope, and Charity. The greatest of these is Charity!
We will update you to new developments as they occur. Visit our website, www.ekshrine. com; Facebook, Elf Khurafeh Shriners, and Instagram. Or call a Divan Member.
Prayers to our sick and shut ins, may you have a speedy recovery. God Bless our Temples of Mercy. May their hands heal our Shrine Children!
Your humble servant,
John E Arnould
Due to the coronavirus outbreak and in compliance with Governor Whitmer's ban on gatherings and events, and MWGM Mark A. Manning’s recent Edict, the Elf Khurafeh Shriners will be cancelling all events, business meetings, and club/unit meetings held at Circus Park in Clio and Shriners Hall in Saginaw through the end of April. This includes cancelling our Easter Party and our May Ceremonial. We have tentatively rescheduled the EK Sportman's Raffle to June 21, 2020.
Circus Park will be open LIMITED hours and only for the handling of urgent business. We ask everyone to avoid Circus Park and Shriners Hall until further notice. If you need assistance, please call the office instead of visiting.
We will update our temple website and our temple social media accounts as often as we can to keep everyone informed. Please check those places for information.
Reference: MWGM Mark Manning's Edict; Shriners International COO John Piland statement
Happy Springtime Nobles, if you’re back home from the south please update your current Address, Phone No., and email to the Recorder at 810-686-2641 ext. 4… Your Shrine Officers hope everyone had a healthy and safe winter wherever you spent it (north or south).
Our circus was less successful than last years. Sales from Noble Tickets showed a decline and the bottom line is not good, but, thank you Nobles for your support and help, remembering the Circus has been Elf Khurafeh’s largest fundraiser supporting the Temple operations. Potentate Arnould, Divan and Membership at our March meeting have revised the 2020 budget amounting to almost -$100,000.00. Please, remember that Elf Khurafeh needs to operate in order to be able to help the children to and from our Shrine Hospitals. If you care to make a donation to our operating funds please feel free to do so.
We still can use drivers to transport the Children to the hospitals. Chicago Shrine Hospital has partnered with Covenant Hospital in Saginaw for Telehealth. This is for follow up check-ups of 15-20 minutes instead of traveling to Chicago for the same. Chicago started this early in the second quarter of 2018 and it is working very successful. When used, this is a large savings to our Transportation Fund and travel time for the drivers, parent and child. Please remember that funds for Hospital Transportation come from Paper and Plaque Sales and Donations from Individuals, Groups, Memorials and Bequests of which we’re very thankful for.
Nobles we need petitions for the May Ceremonial being held at Circus Park, May 2nd, 2020. Candidates should arrive before 9:00 A.M., COST is $180.00 and needs to be turned in before Initiation. Please help Elf Khurafeh gain members in 2020. Remember a Shriner should always try to sponsor one candidate to replace himself, and one for the Temple to grow on, by being top line signer of the petition.
Clarence W. Meyer, Jr., P.P.
Ph. 810-686-2641 ext 4
Happy New Year Nobles and Ladies!
I am humbled and honored by the confidence you have placed in me as your Potentate for 2020. Congratulations to the elected and appointed Divan members. Together, with the help of all the Nobles, we will work diligently to build our Shrine. We have several goals for 2020, some small and some major, but all focus on improving membership and strengthening our financial practices. The events planned for the year are for promoting FUN and FELLOWSHIP!
Our 2020 Installation of Officers was well attended and a very exciting evening for all. I thank the committee, Divan members and their ladies, Chief Aide Tim Corrigan, office personnel, and all others for their hard work pulling this event together. Thank you to the Honor Guard for the evening – Security Unit, Motorcycle Drill Team, and the Ambassadors. The installing officers for the evening – ILL. Sirs Charles Frisby, Todd Clayton, Ron Stanley, Norm Storms, and Barry Thurston did a wonderful job. I especially thank my Lady Connie. Because of my unexpected illness and surgery, all the work fell on her shoulders. With the support of all workers she presented a wonderful evening for our Shrine.
The circus has come to town and left. We had great shows, attendance, and support from our Nobles, Ladies, and friends. Thank you, Ill. Sir Ron Stanley, Executive Director of Circuses, Brian Sabin, Circus Chairman, and the members of the Circus Committee for all your hard work and preparation this past year.
We have two events in February, the Hillbilly’s Valentine Dinner and Dance, and the Chili Cook Off. Please try to join us for the fun times. We also have two fundraisers on going, the 3-Digit Raffle and the Sportsman’s Raffle. Tickets are $20 each and still available.
Please like and visit our website www.ekshrine.com, and our Facebook page Elf Khurafeh Shrine. All events and activities are posted on each of these, and our webmaster, Jeff Downing, and the communications committee are keeping them updated. Any information you need about our Shrine can be found there.
Our philanthropy is the Shriners Hospital for Children. Our Temple mission is to support and transport our child patients to the hospitals for world class care. Without our Temple we can not support the children. Support your local Shrine Temple!
Prayers to our sick and shut-ins, may you have a speedy recovery. God Bless our Temples of Mercy. May their hands heal our Shrine Children!
Your humble servant,
John E Arnould, Potentate
Happy New Year Nobles and Ladies, we hope all is well with everyone and this year has started smoothly. Congratulations to all 2020 Officers, the Installation was on January 3rd and was well attended. Potentate Arnould has planned many fun endeavors’ for 2020 and we would like all Nobles to attend and join in the fun.
Nobles, Elf Khurafeh lost 119 members during 2019; (52 suspended, 7 demitted, 1 resigned and 59 Nobles expired). We Created 17 new Nobles, Restored 5, Associated 0 and Affiliated 1, for a total net loss for 2019 of 96 Nobles. Elf Khurafeh January 2020 membership is; Regular = 1052 + 4 Associates =1056 total Members. The new Membership Committee is planning to work hard on Restorations in 2020 and also on having members join Clubs and/or Units and attending Shrine activities. The main reason of losing members, we have no control of, but losing members because they are not active could very well be our fault. We should all mentor and help our Brother Nobles whenever we can; this makes our Fraternity stronger, are we doing our best? Are we trying to sponsor new members? Only you can answer these questions for yourself, the Officers don’t need your answers, we see by who sponsors new Creations. Always remember that our Blue Lodges need new and active members. Visit your lodge in 2020 or a Lodge nearby your home. The Lodge Officers will be pleased to have you there. The Membership Program sponsored by Imperial Sir Jeff Sowder; is for every Noble to sponsor ONE (1) new Noble into Shrinedom during his term as Imperial Potentate. Let’s everyone try hard to help with His goal. This would be a huge help to our Temple, even if only half of Elf Khurafeh’s members reached this goal. PLEASE TRY HARD!
For you Nobles looking for something to do and have spare time, Elf Khurafeh needs drivers to transport Shrine Patients to the Chicago Shrine Hospital (food, fuel, hotel (when needed) and van are provided by Elf Khurafeh Transportation Fund), what we need is your time. The success stories you hear about from Kids and Parents will bring tears. That’s the biggest reward we can give you. Thanks for helping the Kids. Contact the Recorder if you could help drive.
Clarence W. Meyer, Jr., P.P.
Ph. 810-686-2641 ext 4
Well the year is over it feels like it was just yesterday that it was January 1st 2019 and it was the start of my year as your Potentate, Tammy and I would like to thank all the nobles and their ladies for all your support over the year, it was an eventful year from the success of our circuses to the fun we had at the first annual chili cook off to the successful first ever meat raffle.
With that said, they always said the year would be fast and they were not joking. Some asked if I would do it again and would say I think I would but I think Tammy would divorce me, but I would have to say the Nobles of Elf Khurafeh are the best in the Shrine and again thanks for all the support. And for my last reminder is The Election of Officers on December 11, please come and support your officers that are running for their rightful offices for the year 2020, and to all the officers for the 2020 year.
Good luck and keep Elf Khurafeh moving forward.
Your Potentate for 2019,